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Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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Thoughtful, candid andyesultimately upbeat, Atmosphere of Hope could not be more timely. It is just the book the world needs right now.”Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction
The book does a remarkably good job of arguing that there is still hope for averting catastrophic climate change . . . [Flannery] fully acknowledges the steep challenges and serious obstacles we face. So when he affirms that a path to averting catastrophic climate change remains in place, we know the conclusion is not reached capriciously . . . Flannery’s exploration of the climate change problem is comprehensive. He covers everything from the underlying basic science to the nitty-gritty details of prospective solutions. The book is at its best when laying out the latter . . . What Flannery providesa convincing defense for the position that a path to averting catastrophic climate change still existsis invaluable.”Los Angeles Review of Books
In his new book, Atmosphere of Hope, best-selling Australian author Tim Flannery counsels cautious optimism by showing how the millions of small actions taken by individuals are driving down oil consumption and points out how new Third Way’ carbon-capture technologies promise to reduce emissions and create massive economic opportunities.”—National Geographic
An informative tour of promising multipronged approaches to one of humanity’s biggest challenges. Flannery’s solution-focused quest is especially timely.”Booklist
Flannery argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change. For years, the author has been in the forefront of spreading the warning of climate change’s dire consequences to a broad audience . . . A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds.”Kirkus Reviews
Certain people rise above the crowd. They choose to use their extraordinary talent and intelligence to make a difference. Scientist, scholar and activist Tim Flannery is one of those rare people . . . Atmosphere of Hope is a brilliant examination of where we are with climate change and where we might be able to go.”National Observer (Vancouver)
Praise for The Weather Makers:
An authoritative, scientifically accurate book on global warming that sparkles with life, clarity and intelligence.”Washington Post
At last, here is a clear and readable account of one of the most important but controversial issues facing everyone in the world today. If you are not already addicted to Tim Flannery's writing, discover him now.”Jared Diamond, author of The World Until Yesterday and Guns, Germs & Steel
Flannery . . . is without question an extraordinary scientist. . .. A passionate explication of human influence on climate change and a call to action. . . . A tour de force.”Science Magazine
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The book is heavily polemical, very much Tim Flannery's personal attempt to influence the decision makers. As a scientist and leading environmentalist of long-standing, Flannery is Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, a member of the Australian Independent Climate Council and chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council; so he's certainly qualified to speak authoritatively on the subject.
This was a bit of a roller-coaster read for me, both in terms of style and content. In the introduction, Flannery lays out his stall. Taking as his starting point his own earlier book The Weather Makers, he sets out to show how things have developed over the decade since, where his opinions have changed over the years, and what he now thinks are the best ways forward if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. At this stage, I was concerned I might find the book unreadable. His style is abrasive, self-aggrandizing and arrogant and much of the introduction and early chapters read like a piece of self-advertisement. He mentions his previous book umpteen times, dismissing anyone who has criticised any aspect of it over the years, and spends far too long justifying his then conclusions. In fact, at times there is a sense almost of paranoia – as if he is the victim of a conspiracy of vested interests trying to discredit his work.Read more ›
Flannery is a judge on the Virgin Earth Challenge panel, so he sees a constant flow of ideas and proposals. They all seem to require a complete change of modus operandi, like all the cement produced worldwide seeded with biochar to make it carbon negative. At 80% of global production, we could sequester one gigatonne. Negative carbon plastics could sequester another gigatonne, but only if we made all plastics this way and quintupled production. Now consider we need to sequester 18 gigatonnes per year just reduce atmospheric CO2 by one part per million. We’re currently pushing the rate up from 400ppm.
And this is just CO2 in the atmosphere.
Atmosphere of Hope is a quick read, a compendium of bite-sized facts and figures, detailing the situation in mid 2015. The sections on remediation are interesting and the concepts innovative, but there is always the uncomfortable feeling that two wrongs don’t make a right. Pumping metallic microparticles into the stratosphere is almost certainly the wrong way to fix the mess.
In They Might Be Giants, Holmes explains we weren’t booted from the Garden of Eden; we never left. But we are guests here, and extremely rude ones.Read more ›
The book seems to leap from a kind of hopelessness into wishful thinking and an almost reckless faith in technologies that are barely at the conceptual stage.
The hopelessness emerges from the failure of governments anywhere to tackle climate change with the kind of urgency the issue clearly deserves. Instead, in places like Australia, we have a political and economic system that is even rejecting established, job creating technologies. How do we deal with such intransigence and obstructionism?
For Flannery, the solution – what he terms the ‘third way’ – is an attempt to circumvent the problem by proposing massive investment in new technologies. The problems with such an approach are many.
Tim Flannery’s suggestion that geoengineering technologies are a ‘third way’ implies that these unproven technologies are a legitimate replacement for existing mitigation needs and technologies. While new technologies can obviously complement mitigation, they cannot solve climate change -, nor can they circumvent the clear need for structural and behavioural changes.
How can we expect a political system that has been so complicit in creating climate change, and so resistant to acting on it, to support and invest in unproven new technologies for solving climate change?
Flannery seems to expect technology to overcome the political realities we face, when it is obvious that technologies are the products of and subject to the same political and cultural forces that have created the problem in the first place.
Flannery’s support for negative emissions concrete is a case in point.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Climate change has become emotive and like religion. Your either believe it or you dont and reading a book is not going to make you change your mind. Read morePublished 8 days ago by david
Great book for an updated look at the impact of climate change.
Good explanations of the basic science and what is being learned. Read more
Not your typical apocalyptic global warming book and well annotated, a decent read no matter which side of the global warming/climate change side one is on.Published 4 months ago by sharon burton
“In fact, renewables are now successfully competing with fossil fuels. For two years running more renewable energy, including wind and solar, has been installed globally than... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul Tognetti
Tim Flannery is a rarity – a good scientist who’s also a great journalist. In this book he not only documents how solar and wind power are already transforming our energy future. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dick_Burkhart